- Step 2 -
Some readers may be aghast at the sight of the chipper being used for food purposes, but we are talking lots of apples here. Many years of juicing have taught these country folk how to do the job. This was formerly the wood chipper, but it was retired from that task, thoroughly cleaned, and is reserved now for food purposes only. You can see from the picture that buckets of apples are loaded into the top and the pulp and apple chips collected in a large yellow bowl below. When the bowl is full the pulp is transferred to what looks like a giant sock. This is the juicing bag which is then dropped into the press to line the barrel staves, with the end tucked over the top to hold the bag. A large wooden lid, wellfitting and strong, is then inserted under the pressing mechanism, and everyone is invited to have a go and press! Turning the handle is empowering for the kids as they see their apples pouring lots of rich tawny juice out of the sides and base of the press under their own muscle power. The press is mounted up high with a plastic catcher around the base, funnelling the dense, rich, sweet juice into a steel basin on the ground. As you can see the end product is a dark colour, and it didn’t last long because it was so delicious. You could easily dilute it 50/50 with water and it would still taste strong. We all drank our fill of apple juice that afternoon, and each family took home a couple of washed winebox bags* of apple juice to drink or to freeze for later.
A similar press is used to make cider. You could also juice pears, or a mixture of pears and apples.
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Woods team in Christchurch.